Small ballots traditionally produce meager turnouts at the polls, and two upcoming single-item ballots once again show proof of that.
On May 4, residents in the unincorporated area north of Denham Springs, extending to Watson and ending at the St. Helena Parish line, will vote on the $3 monthly fee to fund Livingston Parish Mosquito Abatement District 2 & 3.
The same day, voters in the northeastern portion of the parish will decide on renewal of the 10-mill property tax to fund Livingston Parish Fire Protection District No. 11 for another 10 years.
Early voting numbers hovered around 2 percent – lousy even for a pre-election period. It’s tough to predict how the small ballot will fare on the day of the election itself.
For the mosquito abatement vote, the opposition crowd likely will turn up strong the day of the election. At the same time, it’s hard to predict how many of the pro-abatement residents will participate.
It’s a far more crucial scenario with the Fire District millage. An anemic voter turnout in 2014 led to a defeat of a renewal in First District 10, but it passed on the second try, possibly due to the discovery of how high insurance premiums spike without fire protection.
Odds do not appear strong for a small ballot on the first weekend in May, but it takes only a couple of minutes and voters will breeze through without long lines.
Residents may complain about the outcome, but only those who practice their duty have ample reason to gripe.